I was in the supermarket and I saw that ham.
That beautiful little spongy, vacuum-pack of pork and I knew I had to take it home. I knew what I had to do. It was like a calling.
I cannot finish that sentence by saying I knew I had to go home and make the ham, because that would be lying. I knew I had to go home and make a jar of these. These pickled peaches are, in addition to being incredibly easy to make considering we are literally just opening and heating a can of peach slices here, but are also a stalwart in my kitchen, particularly this time of year.
Once you’ve tasted one of these alongside a salty slab of succulent ham (hot or cold,) draped on top of a cracker that is plump and proud with some stinking, creamy blue cheese, wedged into a sandwich with some cold chicken leftovers, or even chopped into small chunks and thrown into a spicy, tomato rich stew, you will understand my enthusiasm for their presence in my pantry.
As with many fantastic edible things in my life, this started life as a Nigella Lawson recipe that I tweaked ever so slightly with the addition of a star anise to get an extra depth of flavour to the liquid, and in place of dried chilli flakes, I opted for a whole chili which I punctured with the tip of a sharp night, so that it could slowly and sweetly infuse the liquid with a gentle but sharp heat as opposed to a full sinus attack as it poaches and pickles.
A quick disclaimer – this is not a preserve.
Similar to my Fridge Pickles, these are not designed to be put in a jar and kept in the dark depths of your pantry all winter. They can keep for up to a week in the fridge, which is perfect because there’s no need to wait forever to use them, but like I said, if you know you have these available to you, you will be looking for all the ways you can add them to a meal.
I promise shortly after, you’ll be picking up a can of sliced peaches with every shop visit just to know you have the wherewithal to make these at a moment’s notice.
Fills 1 medium sized Kilner jar
1 x 415g peach slices in syrup
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
4 – 5 star anise
A thumb sized piece of fresh finger – peeled into strips
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 whole red chilli
- Empty the whole can of peach slices (syrup and all) into a small saucepan that comes with a lid.
- Add the vinegar, cinnamon stick, star anise, ginger, peppercorns, and a little salt.
- Grab the red chilli and with the tip of a knife, pierce it all over, and then drop it in the pan. Stir everything together to mix.
- Bring the pan to a boil and then drop it to a simmer and allow to bubble, but just for a few minutes, say 2 or 3. Then remove it from the heat, clamp on a lid, and leave it to cool completely on the countertop.
- One cooled, empty the pans contents into a medium sized Kilner jar, and store in the fridge for up to a week.